Netflix lets you opt out of playing the next episode automatically

A new setting in Netflix lets you switch off one of its most distinctive features — the automatic cueing up of the next episode in line as the previous one finishes. If you often find yourself watching more instalments of Breaking Bad than you really should, or you frequently fall asleep during Arrested Development marathons, it should come as a welcome change.

The change was first spotted by TechHive, and follows up a promise Netflix made back in October to provide the option to disable this ‘post-play’ behavior. With the feature switched off, you’ll still see a preview of the next episode, but it won’t begin playing until you rouse yourself from the sofa and confirm that you want to watch it.

Open the Playback settings screen from your account page once you’re logged in to Netflix to find the new option. Each profile can be set differently, so you can disable binge watching for the kids while leaving it on for the adults (or vice versa, depending on your family dynamics). Even if the automatic episode playback is turned on, the service still puts up prompts every couple of episodes to check that you’re still there: check the Netflix support page for details.

2014 promises to be another busy year for Netflix. The second season of its flagship drama House of Cards is premiering in February, while the company recently unveiled plans to introduce three pricing tiers for users to choose between in the future.

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